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Vinyl Masters

We all know that digital media offer a completely accurate reproduction of sound, which is something vinyl records cannot do. There are a whole range of technical limitations associated with vinyl records that cause changes to occur in the reproduced sound. Strangely enough, it is precisely these technical shortcomings that make vinyl records sound so good. Still, the margin for error here is narrow, which is why we prepare dedicated vinyl masters for your record project’s final cut.

The wonderful sound of Vinyl Records

The sound of vinyl is an aesthetic treat that those of us who were able to experience it on a regular basis grew to love. Vinyl delivers a world of sound that is completely different from the sound of a live performance. This is the sound we have come to associate with recorded music. The love of this sound is so great in some cases that certain people perceive digital music, which actually comes closer to the sound of live music, as something lifeless. Indeed, even after 40 years of digital audio and compact discs, the archetypical sound of a vinyl record has yet to be surpassed.

We create a special master for vinyl

We employ strategies designed specifically for vinyl mastering in order to ensure that your pressed vinyl record sounds exactly the way you want it to. The challenges begin with the problem that music today is not produced with the old vinyl recording process in mind, and knowledge of this process is also no longer as widespread as it used to be.

It is very difficult to transfer some types of modern music productions to lacquer foil and copper plates and it requires a huge amount of expertise. Ironically, this problem often affects genres that tend to favour vinyl for artistic and aesthetic reasons.

Strategies for Perfect Vinyl Masters

The mechanical processes that are carried out in conjunction with cutting, electroplating and pressing alter the sound of the recording – and not always in a manner that listeners would find pleasing. Frequency deviations, distortions and, especially, crackling noises may be what give vinyl records their charm, but only in small doses. They should not be allowed to dominate the overall sound. There are in fact also many examples of vinyl records that sound strangely weak and listless compared to their digital counterparts.

Fortunately, we have the sound recording tools needed to address all of the aforementioned problems. Another aspect of our work involves accentuating the acoustic strengths of vinyl by making targeted adjustments to the sound material. We consistently employ tried-and-tested strategies and utilise our knowledge of both classic analogue production techniques and new and effective software-supported methods.

We produce vinyl masters that are optimised for the cutting process

We use our sound recording methods to prepare a programme that will allow your work to be transferred to lacquer or copper with minimal losses and artefacts. This is important because after mastering, we perform the vinyl cutting process, which is something like the qualitative “eye of the needle” in the overall mechanical production chain. Indeed, this initial mechanical transfer is generally the stage at which most of the sound fidelity in a work is lost.

We leave the data for the vinyl master in the highest possible resolution, which means our vinyl master has a higher resolution than a master for a CD, for example. We then send the data set along with the technical documentation to your cutting studio or upload it to the pressing plant server.

With this series of measures, we establish ideal conditions for a smooth and seamless manufacturing process and a high-quality finished product. As a result, your pressed vinyl record sounds exactly the way you want it to – with a distinctive sound, intact dynamic elements and professionally mastered artefacts.

All of your benefits at a glance

  • Vinyl masters with great sound quality
  • Production masters that are optimised for cutting vinyl records
  • State-of-the-art technology ensures optimal sound quality
  • Analogue audio engineering expertise
  • Transfer of skills in a highly technical professional environment
  • Standard recording industry workflows
  • Our production masters meet all specifications
  • Technical communication with re-recording studios and pressing plants
  • We check your test pressings

Get a quote

Your music production is unique, so feel free to tell us all about yourself or the artist, the nature of your project and the circumstances surrounding your music production. Your personal views and ideas are also very important to us, as they allow us to become better acquainted with your project. Just complete our form and we will send you a quote or an initial overview of what we have to offer.

    Master & Servant GmbH

    Schlachthofstrasse 36 B
    D-21079 Hamburg

    Tel 0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44

    0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44